Cropping

Canola goes to hay

By Country News

Some cropping farmers in northern Victoria have begun cutting canola for hay.

Faced with a likely dry spring and rising hay prices, some farmers are choosing the option of turning their oilseed crops into fodder.

Elmore agronomist Chris Dunn said some district farmers had already made the decision to cut as there was very little subsoil moisture left.

‘‘The tank is nearly empty,’’ Mr Dunn said.

He said some farmers were opting to avoid the risk of a poor oil content due to the dry conditions and go with the hay option.

Mr Dunn said although some areas to the east had more rainfall, the Elmore district had received about 170 to 180mm this year.

‘‘It can be a difficult decision to make after planting a crop to harvest, so I’ve been talking to farmers about how to get your head around that.

‘‘In the end it’s a business decision about what are the best options available to make a business profitable.’’

He said irrigated canola crops were looking good.